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Reuters: Dunkin’ Brands Weighs Weighty IPO

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) – Private equity-backed Dunkin’ Brands Inc is considering an initial public offering of about $500 million in the second half of 2011, sources familiar with the situation said.

The IPO could be as large as $750 million, one of the sources said. Two or the sources said that there is disagreement among the sponsors over the company’s valuation. All of the sources said the discussions are preliminary and could change.

The information is not public and the sources declined to be named.

Dunkin’ Brands has yet to pick banks to lead its IPO, the sources said. Banks that have previously provided financing to the company inlcude Barclays Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Group.

A consortium of private equity firms Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners reached an agreement to take Dunkin’ Brands private for $2.4 billion in cash in 2005.

An IPO by Dunkin’ Brands, which owns donut and coffee seller Dunkin’ Donuts and ice cream shop Baskin-Robbins, would be the latest in a number buyout-backed deals including HCA Holdings Inc., Kinder Morgan Inc., BankUnited Inc. and Nielsen Holdings.

“We do not respond to rumors or speculation. We are focused on operating our business and helping our franchisees drive revenues and profits at their restaurants,” Dunkin’ Brands said in a statement. The Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital declined comment. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Alina Selyukh and Megan Davies; editing by Carol Bishopric)